I'm getting a jump on New Year's Resolutions to have some time to think them over before champagne and revelry blur the situation. Beginning in 2006, I will no longer take money for granted. I will not spend more money than I have to. I will take off my rose-colored financial glasses and put on my sound-reasoning-and-research-glasses when it comes to matters of money. Part of this fiduciary sensibility includes not using synthetic motor oils any longer. Since I drive about 12k miles per year, my car holds 7.5 quarts, and the oil life monitor generally runs to about 6 or 7k between oil changes, I will save approximately $22 per oil change by using a good quality conventional motor oil at $1.90 per quart as opposed to Mobil 1 at $4.90 per quart. At two oil changes per year, that amounts to approximately $45, or about 2 hours of salaried work (at my salary) per year. Instead of spending that money and time on an unproven automotive fluid that appears to offer little or no credible evidence of real benefits to my car, I will give the money to a children's hospital anonymously or spend at least two hours per year at a nursing home spending time with people who feel lonely during the holidays and just want someone to talk to. The benefits of those tasks are positive and directly and immediately measurable, and I will feel better about myself by helping another person than by putting synthetic oil in my car. Instead of spending time speculating on which motor oil I should use, I will instead spend that time finding ways for my family to eat more healthy foods or I will spend more time talking with my kids as their friend as well as their father. Synthetic motor oil does not cause me any pain or problems, but I have decided that it is an unnecessary expense. I will consult the experts at BITOG for the most efficient conventional oil to use in my car, and then buy that oil at a good price and use it without overthinking the situation. The engineers who designed my car and its oil life monitor system put more research and testing into the motor oil they recommend than I have, and I trust their decision because I have never heard of engine failures caused by lubrication problems that were not due to gross neglect. Since I don't neglect my car, I will no longer worry about using what the manufacturer says is best.